As manufacturing becomes more specialised, manufacturing companies have to keep up with customers’ changing demands with regard to the complexity of manufactured parts as well as functionality and the aesthetic appeal of the product.
South African arm of Germany-based metallurgical plant and rolling mill technology provider SMS group is at the forefront of developing the technologies that have brought metal extrusion to the high level it is at today.
If one understands the capabilities of metal extrusion, it becomes clear that the level of expertise of SMS group is extensive,” the group notes It has used metal extrusion to manufacture complex half complete products that form aesthetically pleasing components such as window frames and other structural components in complex buildings to the strong aerodynamic components that make up the frames of automotive vehicles, trains and aircrafts. Extrusion is also used to manufacture specialised and accurate profiles required in the electronics industry.
SMS group previously acquired Schloemann, a world recognised extrusion press manufacturer. The SMS group of companies currently providing metal extrusion consists of four main headquarters. The first is Germany-based SMS Extrusion Press department, which deals with extrusion presses and related technology; second is Austria-based aluminium machinery design company Hertwich Engineering, which deals with continuous homogenising plants for extrusion billets; third is Italy-based supplier of aluminium extrusion lines Omav, which provides extrusion handling systems; and finally Germany-based industrial electric heating technology company IAS, which focuses on induction heating for extrusion press billets.
Each of these entities are market leaders in their own right. Having them under the umbrella of the SMS group enables the group to provide a complete solution for any extrusion-related market requirement.
In addition, the SMS group has manufacturing facilities globally, including in countries such as Brazil, India and China. Having these manufacturing facilities globally means that global standard SMS-group-designed extrusion press or plant could potentially be manufactured locally, or in nearby low cost countries, while still maintaining the strict quality control that is embedded within SMS group. This means that having the best designed plant or equipment will not necessarily translate into the most expensive solution.
Moreover, SMS group has several extrusion press design patents that make their equipment and plant superior to that of competitors. One SMS group patent is the SMS group laminated tie-rods – instead of conventional round tie rounds. SMS group laminated tie rods have a lifetime which is far beyond that of any other solution.
Another significant SMS group technology is the patented linear guide, which replaces the conventional X guide and flat guide. SMS group’s linear guide is practically wear free and solved the huge drawback of aligning the press.
SMS group is involved with the entire metal extrusion process from input billet handling to extrusion to final product handling. In terms of capabilities, SMS group has expertise in aluminium, copper, copper alloys and steel extrusion. The extrusion modes that the SMS group equipment can perform are direct extrusion presses and indirect extrusion presses with or without piercer for seamless tubes. SMS group can provide extrusion presses up to 160 MN.